Louis Theroux: Law and Disorder in Philadelphia

Louis Theroux: Law and Disorder in Philadelphia Louis Theroux joins the Philadelphia Police Department patrolling the most dangerous part of one of the most violent cities in America. from the Telegraph review: “Making a film in one of America’s most crime-ridden cities might sound a daunting task, but Louis Theroux seems to relish the challenge in his latest documentary on BBC2 this week, Law and Disorder in Philadelphia. “The endearingly weedy Theroux is seen bounding in and out of police cars, thrust into the frontline of rapid response teams. ‘My first thought was, “If I get killed it’s not because I’m going to get shot or mugged, it’s because I’m going to die in a car accident”,’ he says. ‘The cops are unbelievable because they’re breaking all the red lights, going down one-way streets the wrong way, going down the middle of the road in heavy traffic, and dodging other cars.’ “The new documentary is certainly his riskiest assignment yet. The BBC’s safety guidelines meant he had to wear a bulletproof vest so thick he was unable to do up his seatbelt. “But you can’t blame the production team for being cautious when you consider that there are an estimated 400 homicides a year in Philadelphia, more than 10,000 aggravated assaults and almost 40,000 thefts. “On the other hand, you might say Theroux’s style is sometimes dangerous, because it could easily backfire. In an innocent-seeming, almost boyish way he asks the blunt questions that other journalists might want to ask but don’t have the nerve. Critics have accused him of faking naïvety, in order to lull his subjects into a false sense of security. But he says there’s nothing cynical in his approach. ‘I just believe in taking people at their word and I’m inclined to trust people,’ he says. ‘Maybe I’m a bit naïve or overly trusting because when somebody lies to me I’m shocked. But I think it’s good manners to take people at their word.’ “Indeed, as Law and Disorder in Philadelphia shows, Theroux’s trusting interview style actually helps him elicit more information from hostile criminals than his all-action, macho peers such as Ross Kemp and Donal MacIntyre. The new film may not be as quirky as the ones that made him famous, but Theroux has again succeeded in exposing his audience to an alien world.”

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  1. Great documentary

  2. Is this not how wild animals growing up in the wild behave…Wild animals that’s all they’re now…Quick to place the blame on anything/anyone else except themselves. They Do Not know anything about “Self Accountability”. The smart ones leave and move out of the ghetto, which leaves these animals to roam free and destroy themselves.

  3. They don’t want cops in their neighborhood? Give them what they want, just keep them out of neighborhoods where the majority respect the law the police are welcome.

  4. Some of the comments are 5 years old. Surely, things have gotten better in Philly since then. No?

  5. This is story of C00NS being themselves just like in Zimbabwe.

  6. Is this Brit guy TRYING to be funny? He seems like a total comedian….”why does it say born thug on your hands? “Then he asks the girl….”How do you pay for it?” Is he for real?

    • These are from the tribe called the Dindus. They dindu nuffin. Gnomeisayin?

    • It’s his style. Basically he uses his questions as a vehicle to expose the absurdity of all of it. His questions themselves seem absurd, but really it’s just to point out how ridiculous the situation is. I find it amusing.

  7. So funny how the English guy looks shocked & confused by why the running man would even have a gun when it almost got him shot by police……he has a small piece of the puzzle. They carry the guns to shoot each other not the police. Without it, if he walked up on opposite gang, he’d be dead. I’m not saying it’s good…but that’s how it is

  8. What he says is absolutely right. I live in AZ, still the wild west. We take our gun rights very seriously….& while I sometimes wish their were some restrictions….like back in NY where I’m from….(back there only the gangsters have guns) there are no restrictions here in AZ yet.

  9. What a shithole. They sit around doing fuck all when they could clean up their neighbourhood. Hopeless Americans!

    • I love how these american stereotype jokes only ever come either complete shithole 3rd world countries where human rights don’t exist, or from British/Australian idiots that think that somehow they are better. When a british person makes fun of America I can’t help but look at that person like they are absolutely uneducated. We came from britian, our governments policies are almost identical, and just as americans have rednecks british have the same fucking breed of idiots that speak an unintelligible form of broken english from liverpool and newcastle.

  10. Under the US constitution, American citizens are allowed to keep and bear arms. For police to come and take his weapon for no reason, shows how fucked up the police state really is. civil servants and the military should never be the only ones allowed to carry weapons.

    These officers should be arrested and charge for violating the 2nd amendment to the US constitution because they have disarmed a person without any reason for doing so, other then the fact he was carrying a gun. Cops should not be given a gun if they can’t respect other citizens constitutional rights to carry a gun.

    • Actually, you don’t have the right to bear arms. Clearly you don’t know much about the Constitution otherwise you wouldn’t have spouted off such nonsense.

      The right to bear arms only applies if you are licensed to carry as well as NOT a criminal. So no, these officers are doing their job. These offenders no longer have the 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms because they are felons. Sorry. Do more research first, before you start bad-mouthing our police.

    • what a stupid comment,…sorry but what you said is completely idiotic, yeah sure, in american you have the “right to carry guns”,..but i dont see any of these guys with the correct licence to won a gun,…furthermore, having the right to own a gun, doesnt give you the right to carry it in your waistband, by your logic, everybody should have the right to carry runs in public, sticking out of their waistbands for whenever they need to use it,, does that seriously sound like something that should be going on?, lol, think before you comment dude!, you might not come off sounding so stupid

  11. I live in northeast philly 5 min from KENSINGTON and u can argue all day about the citiea murder rate crime rate etc…what it comes down to …unless u live here u will never understand the streets of philly..just watch the clips not 1on person is telling u the truth. Even the cops..4 words…lost and turned out…

  12. Also after reading just a few more of your replies I’ve lived with these “corner boys” on my block, I grew up on the opposite end of Philly, the south end And it’s the exact same B.S. there only we didn’t call them corner boys they were just kids to us. How they get down in Canada is news to me, drug dealers giving out” fair ones” in the streets? Sounds like Philly in 1985. Since then our Government has issued a little something called “The war on drugs” What that means in Laymens terms is We pipe in millions of dollars of drugs and guns and let these fuckers go to war. We are doing the same thing right now in Mexico and blaming the cartels and those damn savage Mexicans. The truth is, the reason that this country is so “great” Is because we are the warlords of globe. Are you sitting on some natural recourse? Well here are some guns and some opposing religious nonsense and while you are killing each other we’ll just be over here guarding the diamonds,gold,uranium,poppy,oil. Or if we want to make it quite certain that a certain sect of the population dosen’t get up and vote our greedy asses out we will pipe in, Liqour stores,crack cocain,heroin,guns ect. Then we will treat them and thier mothers without a shredd of dignity until they feel so helpless that they would rather sell drugs for minimum wage and shoot each other rather then to go along with the American “wet dream” because we have made it quite clear that that dream does not apply to them.

  13. It astounds me that the general populous will still spout that same old bigotry… “Blacks commit more crimes”. Well of course they do because they won’t be hired and they don’t have the means to pay back the loans… Oh that’s right this is America black, people can’t get loans. Law student is the perfect example of why this shit is the way it is. This same bigotry is what they teach in Criminal justice courses all around the country. so that the people in charge of your arrest, defense, prosecution and sentencing all have the same disreguard for your daily struggle as an impoverished youth. That way the prison stays packed and the “Man” stays fat and happy. And it’s thier fault we bomb them, After all they beat thier women, and want to blow up Isreal… Don’t believe the hype!

  14. Blacks??? This is NOT about color! Go to northern europe and you see the same thing with ALL WHITES! Its about class and poverty, prohbition and government!! End war on drugs and make drug programs where addicts can get their drugs legally and use them in a little safer way and help them live a normal life!

    • Sorry but you have obviously never been to northern Europe. Yes, most people there are white but there is not nearly as much crime, poverty, drugs or guns. Not saying this is a black problem though, it is an American problem and it’s caused by racism and predatory capitalism.

    • This is the most intelligent post of them all. As you say, go to any impoverished community where government has either “de-culturalised” or made a people to feel inferior then this is the result. There are examples all around the world or varying races. Thank you for your global knowledge. Sometimes it seems people can’t see past the country they live in.

  15. How sad people are worse than animals unreal, blacks always ????

  16. Very Bleak and honest insight into Philadelphia’s urban situation..This isn’t confined to the US,indeed the city in this film is just a living model for the more widespread problem of inner city crime.Look at any large city in the world and you will see similar problems.True,in the States,the gun problem is a lot worse than most places.
    This isn’t a race issue,It’s not about color,roots or ethnicity.
    It’s a class issue,an infrastructure issue.An issue regarding the unbalance of wealth and privilege in today’s society .
    There is too much tax payer money spent on military and guns,and not enough on education,health,or social programs.Gun laws need to be tightened up badly,too.All too easy to buy one.Clearly what is needed is a program to teach children about these problems from an early age.To forewarn them,so they might steer clear of some of the danger areas,such as heroin etc.Drum some non religious ethics into them.Morality.It could make all the difference if the youth on the streets had workshops where they could learn trade skills such as carpentry,metal working,machining etc, and earn some honest money into the bargain for their efforts.Then they might choose a different path.Maybe even social centers where they could partake in activities together.Plays,Art,computers,boating trips,anything,just something to take the communal mind to less negative scenarios..
    It begins with education,and it begins in the home,and in the neighborhood.Philly is not an easy platform to launch these sort of programs from,but the city needs them right now.Having said all that.I don’t believe it will change any time soon..
    I only hope that in the next couple of decades,the problem will be treated intelligently by local and national government.For a better future.For that to happen,people need to recognize the root cause of the common problems and work together towards a solution.And more importantly,the people on the street need to wise up and get with the program too.Maybe it’ll always be both positive and negative,human nature after all,but these people have more potential than gunning each other down on some barely known street corner over a petty drug deal.

  17. The solution is simple; end the War on Drugs. After 30 years the problem is now worse. Clearly the war on drugs isn’t working. Prohibition will NOT work. This problem was created, at least in part, by the federal government.

  18. Don’t feed the trolls! …ffs

  19. They don’ know nu’in else, know’m sa’in? Need some exucation up in here.



  22. Interesting. People are so interesting. We let stuff like this happen in our society and pretend that it doesn’t. Can you imagine living your life afraid of everyone because you never feel safe? Maslow would probably have something to say about this sort of lifestyle.

  23. Interesting. People are so interesting. We let stuff like this happen in our society and pretend that it doesn’t. Can you imagine living your life afraid of everyone because you never feel safe? Maslow would probably have something to say about this sort of lifestyle.

  24. The poor lady around 9 minutes… she’s just too insightful for her own good. sad.

  25. Is there no crime in England or the whole of Europe, you could exploit, Mr. Theroux?  How many it is no good in America stories are you going to do? 

    • im from europe, and theirs nothing even close to this kind of crime in our cities, sure you have murders and drugs, and poverty, but you dont have the same “gangster” attitude that drives all these idiots into an early grave, its only in AMERICA, that Africans blame everybody buy themselves for the situation their in,…dont get me wrong, im no racist, nor do i judge people by color, but African Americans DO, blame everybody else for the state of their inner cities and the crime that their involved in.

      • We have a saying here: If you have to justify your statement with “I’m no racist, but…” you’re likely making a racist comment. As for AMERICA, we aren’t the only ones with high crime rates. It’s not about race, but about the socioeconomic environments that people are forced or are born into. Every time I read comments from people who aren’t American, you guys come off as sounding incredibly pretentious. You aren’t living here. You don’t know what we go through. You think you have this idea of what Americans are like, how our lives are lead, but you don’t. You have a politicized view of what world media gives you of our country. So until you have actually lived our lives and walked our streets, go look down your nose at your own people and stop believing that you have any inkling of what really goes on over here.

        I’m a White, middle class female. You’d never know it by looking at me but I’ve lived in poverty, as well. I’ve seen what it does to people of all races. It is NOT race specific but in areas, like Philly, there are more concentrations of minorities than in other cities, which is why it looks like it is. It’s why Theroux covered this area, I’m sure. It’s the extreme but it exists and these people, this is the life they know. There are decent people and they don’t need your self-righteous condemnation.

  26. negros = criminales

  27. negros= criminales


  29. Hey folks, go to Switzerland and try to find at least one of those ‘corner boys’ in the entire country, black, hispanic, white, or yellow. Why is it that the US is a cesspool of these junkies and filth? Overfilled prisons is surely a natural consequence. The texture, the very warp and woof, of people in, say, Sweden, is so much different.

  30. This guy is good.

  31. i live in saint john nb Canada which prob means nothing to most of you but it is flooded with crack and pills (mostly dilaudid) and there is no violence like what i see happening hear no murders no stabings other thn a few mabey tow or three a year but what there is alot is poverty me and my mother lived on the streets for years before we lucked out on a federal apartment (with a computer) and all i can say is violence has nothig to do with poverty or race it has to do with mindset me and the rest of my family live in worse conditions then these people but we dont kill nobody i mean i sell drugs to support my family and if theres a probleme with so drug dealer we fight it out and who ever win gets the corner we dont have to kill each other over it and neather do these people……. it all has to do with mindset

  32. walt, you make the common descent white man look like a racist. its ppl like u that should live the life these ppl need to. u clearly dont have a clue in your little racist world. good luck getting somewhere in life with that attitude. you need to get a grip and have a word with yourself.


  33. Besides the broken link, good docu. It isn´t rocket sience to make out that crime comes and grows with poverty. Or the other way round.

  34. Link broken.
    Use this one to watch it on the tube:

  35. YEAH!!What he said!!

  36. What’s with all this PC crap, asking the blacks “Why is there so much crime?!?” It’s simple, niggers = crime!

    • Same shit happens in Australia mate. You have makers, and you have
      takers. That’s just the way the world is. Colour is irrelevant

    • I live in an all white neighborhood and everything I learned about race, I learned from a textbook.  I accuse the lower middle class whites that actually live with people of african descent of ignorance to disguise the fact that I grew up in all white neighborhood.  I like to say politically correct things because I have been taught that makes me “sophisticated”. 

      I am also a pantywaste, and am ashamed of who I am because my teachers taught me that white people are inherently evil.  I blithely ignore the manifest evidence that people of african descent are inferior because I want to fit in.  Thus, IQ tests are “culturally biased” and black incarceration rates are the result of a “racist judiciary” (I’ll ignore the victim’s reports that also highlight black criminality).

      I’ll continue holding these absurd beliefs until the niggers move into my community and begin victimizing me in the same way they have victimized Walt235.   I, of course, will then be called ignorant by wealthier whites who don’t live with niggers. 

    • You are quite obviously an idiot. Have fun living your life full of hatred.

    • You are quite obviously an idiot. Have fun living your life full of hatred.

    • I love how instead of trying to provide a good retort, or ignoring this guy, you drop to his level.

    • Hey Walt, how’s it going? Don’t you have a klan meeting to attend to? When you get home, don’t forget to kiss your wife, I mean cousin, goodnight! Maybe tomorrow you can plan a fun-filled and exciting day drinking moonshine, attending lynchings, beating your cousin, oh shit, sorry man, I forgot, wife and being an ignorant, uneducated, inbred douche-nozzle who spouts racist bigotry instead of a cleanly saline-solution.

      Have fun!

      • your sterotypes are just as pathetic as his. 

      • meekrab hit the nail on the head!

      • with all due respect..statistics prove that the majority of crime in certain areas – not all! – is committed by those of african decent due to poverty there are factors which reason why certain races are more likely to commit crimes.

        • I don’t believe your “law student” user name. Someone with a degree in any field would recognize the social and structural complications related to race and crime.

          Poverty and oppression creates crime. And dumb fucks like you contribute to the ignorance about it.

        • Thats so dumb….what you saying is that the blacks are racially bound to be poor.

          • I agree with Lawstudent. Here’s a quote from the movie Boyz ‘n the Hood. I know it’s just a movie but this says it all:

            Furious Styles: Why is it that there is a gun shop on almost every corner in this community?
            The Old Man: Why?
            Furious Styles: I’ll tell you why. For the same reason that there is a liquor store on almost every corner in the black community. Why? They want us to kill ourselves.

      • hahahahahahahahahahahahaha fuckin redneck dickheads

    • wow. you’re real ignorant.